Lashing on a combined force of scriptural injunctions and philosophical insinuations, one may infer that a human being is susceptible to exhibiting a ‘tendency to quickly forget the good done him or take the good he has been a beneficiary of for granted’. A Nigerian once argued that one of the susceptibilities of an average Nigerian is that he forgets the benefits he has derived from the large heartedness of a benevolent and concerned leader. An example of such leader is the current political, spiritual, social, and economic leader of Nigeria.
It is no longer history that the man who is at present inordinately bulldozing his way to a third term thought that he handed a vibrant economy over to Shehu Shagari in 1979 only to return to power twenty years later to discover that, as a lackey put it ‘his Nigeria was now rated as one of the poorest nations of the world’. Not only that, the country ‘was being rated as one of the most corrupt nations in the world. Most of the nation’s socio-economic infrastructures were so badly run down that some were merely gasping for breath.’
President Olusegun Obasanjo
It is incontrovertible that Nigerians should be grateful to their own rave of the moment for a number of reasons. Nigeria’s debt has been forgiven, fuel scarcity has been banished, and GSM is here with us. A new pension scheme, which, a source thinks ‘everybody agrees will give retirees a secure future and a fulfilled retirement life’, has been introduced. Resulting from ‘astute diplomacy’ Nigeria has ceased to be a pariah nation.
Professor Peter Okebs National Universities Commission is doing a commendable job in refashioning and restructuring the university system. With the reintroduction of the Higher School Certificate into the structure of education, we may determine whether we are still operating 6-3-3-4or 6-3-3-2-3 system of education in this most populous concentration of black faces. When are we going to have a stable system of education, sir?
We should not forget to add that, part of the achievements that should make Nigerians establish a Mecca in Ota farm and deify the name of the founder of the farm is that, since May 1999,there has been a new lease of life in the area of electricity generation and supply. So abundantly regular is the commodity that come October 2006,we will celebrate seven years of interrupted power supply.
We should hail our messiah because his GSM miracle has transformed our lives from third rated human beings to high-fliers. Our service providers no longer increase their tariff at will. We pay the lowest airtime in the world. And, through an unprecedented statesmanship, we are the only country in the world that produces all the components of the handsets the citizens use.
Unemployment has been reduced to zero percent. The thousands of graduates produced by the mushrooming tertiary schools are being employed even before they graduate. The most astounding achievement in the area of job provision is visible in the Niger Delta region, where all the youths have been gainfully employed by the oil prospecting and producing companies. Those of them who are not skilled have been drafted to the National Directorate of Employment. This is one reason there has been a round peace in the Niger Delta.
We cannot but praise our energetic man of the moment for banishing poverty from the land; we now have a choice over virtually all the essentials of life and more because they are at our beck and call.
Our system of education has been rated far and above what is obtained in the USA and other developed worlds; security is now sound and reliable. Our prisons, yes, the condition of our prisons makes Uncle Sam green with envy; health services are now thorough and reliable. The same can be said of the air of superiority and acceptance now command and enjoy in the gathering of other countries of the world.
Rate of inflation has now been brought down and controlled. A liter of fuel now costs between ten and fifteen naira; a liter of kerosene is now five naira compared with fifty naira the economic miracle workers met the price in 1999.
Thanks to the economic reforms, we can now stroll to the car manufacturing companies scattered all over the federation and purchase a Volkswagen beetle or a Peugeot of any brand at give away prices.
Our university graduates compare favorably with their counterparts anywhere in the world. In actual fact UNESCO has confirmed that OAU, UNILAG and UI are now to be used as models for other universities in Europe and America.The three universities were rated in the first three positions in the world recently. Our own Joint Admissions and Matriculation Board has been commissioned by American University in Fort Knox Alabama, to conduct admission examinations for prospective American candidates. That means more foreign currency, more prosperity for Nigerians.
The most ardent of the critics of the administration have now agreed that Nigeria is worth dying for. This newfound faith in the polity is being demonstrated by those young, patriotic, energetic and highly dependable youths of the Niger Delta. By the time they finish dishing out VIP treatment to those recalcitrant oil company workers, the UN will have no option than make us the only permanent member of the body; those Swedes will then have the good sense to award the Nobel Price for peace to our number one citizen.
Health care delivery has improved tremendously. Our hospitals have graduated from mere consulting centers to mere slaughterhouses. For instance Mrs. Laura Bush, during her recent visit, hinted that she would be back to LUTH for a tummy tucks treatment. Canada and New Zealand have sent their health ministers on a three-month induction at the national hospital, Abuja. Because of the professionalism and good leadership quality exercised by the aviation minister in saving the life of the only survivor of the Sosoliso air crash at the National Hospital in Abeokuta, Transparency International has awarded its certificate of QUALITY SERVICE for the year of our lord 2005 to the reverent professor.
Our sports men and women have continued to demonstrate that there is a solid foundation for the development of sports and recreation in the land. This commitment has been proved by no other event than their spectacular medal haul at the recently concluded commonwealth games held at Melbourne. A fifty gold medal snatch is certainly a lifetime achievement.
Gentlemen and ladies, there is this nagging feeling of despair, which may invade the intellect of the mind that is attempting a comparative analysis between the one in the mold of the Butcher of the Balkan or a Charles Taylor and a seemingly innocuous mind that remains reticent when the expectation is a loud statement of fact. This angst can only be subdued when a clear demarcation is established between the one who demolishes the spirit, the moral fabric and the one who eliminates the physical being: what exactly is the distinction between a comatose bespectacled general from Kano and a sitting Furher from Olumo town?
The few instances discussed here are sure indications of better things to come for the citizens of this odd collection of individuals. What our leader deserves from all of is our unalloyed cooperation. With a few praise singers, bootlickers, and a sprinkle of sycophants, the sky is surely the limit for pedestrian leadership.